Gold prices went down on Monday despite the weaker-than-expected nonfarm payroll growth. Investors and traders do not anticipate the poor job data to influence the Federal Reserve’s tapering timeline. The stronger dollar and higher U.S. 10-year Treasury yields also pulled bullion prices down. The greenback jumped to a three-month high against the yen and made the yellow metal more expensive for investors using rival currencies. Higher yields lifted the opportunity cost of owning the non-interest-bearing metal.
Spot gold is currently trading at $1,753.27 per ounce as of 0930 GMT.
The Labor Department reported on Friday that U.S. nonfarm payrolls grew by only 194,000 jobs in September. It was way below analysts’ forecast of 500,000. However, the unemployment rate fell to 4.8%, which is better than the expected 5.1%. It indicates that more Americans sidelined during the pandemic have returned to the workforce.
The market reacted little to the news. It means the Fed may begin tapering economic support next month.
IG Market analyst Kyle Rodda suggested that the payrolls data will not stop the Fed from tapering. He explained that the labor shortage is forcing employers to raise wages, and that could push the inflation rate higher. Rodda expects gold prices to remain on a downward trend.
OCBC Bank economist Howie Lee noted a lack of gold conviction among gold bulls. The bullion traded below the $1,800 per ounce level despite the weak September job data and the energy crisis. He predicted the metal to stabilize at $1,500 before the end of 2022.
In physical trading, gold demand in India tumbled as prices went up partly because of the depreciation of the rupee. Local gold futures traded around 46,900 rupees per 10 grams on Friday. And dealers had to offer a discount for the first time in more than two months. Jewelers postponed their purchases while waiting for a price correction.
In China, demand is likely to pick up as prices soften. Dealers lowered their premiums by $3-4 last week. In Singapore, there was also an improvement in demand as bullion prices stabilized in their lower range. But demand in Japan and Hong Kong remain subdued.
In a related development, the holdings of the largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund in the world, SPDR Gold Trust, slipped 0.2% from 986.54 tons on Thursday to 985.05 tons on Friday.